The speedskating season is over, but you’ll find that the really dedicated skaters aren’t spending their newly-freed-up workout times sitting in lawn chairs, drinking margaritas, and finding shapes in passing clouds. Oh, I plan to do that at least once this summer, don’t get me wrong, but the point is we’re supposed to not let ourselves get out of shape, which would make our autumn transition back onto the ice painful.
To that end, my coach has been holding dryland workouts, including “low walking” (walking low to the ground in speedskater stance) to strengthen those thighs — feel the burn, baby — and sprints for bursts of speed. I haven’t been able to travel for the weekly workouts, but I’ve been making up for it by exercising in other ways, including working on an elliptical machine, on steps, using weights, and running.
Let me just say that I used to run quite a lot in college and loved it. It was always exhausting the first mile but got much easier the longer I ran, and I had a great running partner who was much faster than me and thus motivated me to keep up — Diane, if you’re out there, email me, hun.
Now I’m running with my kids, and it’s turning out to be a really nice way to spend time with them. We only run together about twice a week and about a mile per session, but it’s been great to have them as running mates. We’re all seeing improvement in our strength and stamina and we’re having fun — and preparing to set the ice on fire come September!